The combination of intelligent appliances, from light switches to trucks, and the prospect of pervasive connectivity is creating a network of things, the “Internet of Things”, that will share the telecom and cloud infrastructure with user devices that have very different requirements. The market opportunity for networks that support machine to machine communications is expected to be at least as large as that for user to user communication. The challenge for the Telecom and Cloud infrastructure industries is to enable services that can both meet the exacting requirements of different industries such as energy, health and automotive, and handle the vast volume of data, “Big Data”, that will be generated, and consumed, by the huge number of machines connected to the Internet.


In this blog I am going to explore the impact of the Internet of Things and Big Data on the telecom and cloud infrastructure industries and some of the steps being taken to deliver the required services. For this blog I have asked Sven Freudenfeld, Telecom Business Development Manager at Kontron and Mike Langlois, Vice President, General Manager Networking Strategy at Wind River for their views on this topic. Kontron is a Premier member of the Intel® Intelligent Systems Alliance. Wind River Systems is an Associate member of the Intel® Intelligent Systems Alliance. The 200-plus members of the Alliance collaborate closely with Intel® to create hardware, software, tools, and services to help speed intelligent systems  to market.


How will the emergence of the Internet of Things and Big Data impact the telecom and cloud infrastructure industries?


Mike Langlois: Intelligent & secure mass connectivity is the short answer – this is the bigger story around the internet of things and the creation of big data. Billions more devices and machines will connect to a network in the next decade.  And, these connected elements will be big generators of data and in turn the consumers of big data (intelligent information).


When regulated industries such as energy, health, automotive and others start connected their devices/machines to the global communication networks, they will place much more requirements on the network above and beyond unregulated smart phones, tablets and PCs.


Sven Freudenfeld: The “Internet of Things” or IoT, continues to emerge as an enigma to the telecom and cloud infrastructure industries. In the realm of IoT, the industry expects to see a semantic web that delivers content user-to-user, machine-to- machine (M2M), machine-to-user and user-to-machine in new ways never thought of before. The expansion of this technology into the new frontier of unattended “embedded” devices will drive overall Internet traffic to triple, and mobile Internet traffic to grow 11-fold. The exceptional spectrum of the data generated by M2M communication will be on grander scale, leading to the buzz behind what the industry has appropriately deemed the “Gigantic Data” problem.


However, even with the increase of data throughout the network, the profile of data packets passing through the network will be in different sizes than the traditional mobile device connected to the network and therefore a distributed computing approach in the cloud can mean a more efficient way to manage the cloud infrastructure. The new structure of IoT introduces Web 3.0 with a simplified and structured interaction for M2M communication without any human interaction.


Where do you see the greatest challenges for these industries?


Mike Langlois: There are two huge challenges: 1) maximizing traffic capacity, performance, and quality of service of existing networks, and 2) monetization of the network services. Within these two challenges are the other issues of security, reliability, and cost savings.


Sven Freudenfeld: Security and manageability are critical factures to be able to create a secure environment to deploy an M2M solution. From power plant to medical device to moving objects and machinery, the use of communication between two machines without human interaction will continue to expand and diversify in the future and could become a weak point for security threats.


How are you using Intel technology to solve these challenges?


Sven Freudenfeld: Current and predicted market conditions are driving vendors to innovate new design approaches to cloud computing platforms. Kontron is one example with the introduction of its SYMKLOUD series of cloud platforms. It took an entirely new approach to hardware design by integrating switching and load balancing with a modular and distributed framework of Intel® processors.


Figure 1. SYMKLOUD MS2900 Fully Integrated Cloud Computing Platform.


Partnering with Intel, Kontron leverages the very low power, high performance Intel® Xeon® E3-1200 Processor Series to easily scale and share the workloads of web, M2M and mobile applications deployed in cloud infrastructure. Moreover, these Intel processors have also enabled Kontron to design a more comprehensive power management suite that will permit a more dynamic powering up and down when workloads change.


Mike Langlois: Wind River has integrated and fine-tuned our entire software platform and development tools portfolio to take full advantage of the advanced capabilities of Intel processors.  Wind River Intelligent Network Platform includes Intel® Data Plane Development Kit (Intel ® DPDK).  It is the only software platform that offers this unique processing technology integrated as part of its solution.    The platform takes full advantage of DPDK and the built-in hardware capabilities to enable a consolidated management and data plane software environment that delivers high performance layer 3 packet processing and deep packet inspection functionality.

Wind River INP.png

Figure 2. Wind River Intelligent Network Platform.


Wind River Simics, a full system simulator, is a development tool that has been fully optimized for the Intel Architecture and Xeon processors.  Design teams who want to get a time to market advantage can use Simics to accelerate all phases of the development life cycle. This allows design teams to prototype both hardware and software before huge investments before physical Intel hardware is available


What do you see as the next steps for the telecom and cloud infrastructure industries?

Sven Freudenfeld: Planning to face these new challenges head-on and understanding how they will impact the business of cloud service providers and hosted services will require a shift from legacy, purely processor driven hardware to more scalable and highly versatile cloud-enabled Web 3.0 infrastructure equipment.  As the requirements are changing with the advent of next generation data centers, network equipment providers and cloud service providers should seek out new hardware and software solutions that are fully integrated and application ready, provide improved power and cluster management, and more cost-effectively deliver High-Availability (5 nines) capabilities.


What will evolve in telecom and cloud infrastructure will be the development of compute density with better power efficiency and different methods for data transport. Along with this will be the platform cost for next generation platforms.  The future may also hold a path to use pure PCI-express as the transport method within the platforms as this will help serve to lower the cost.  As previously discussed, cloud infrastructure equipment must be truly scalable. Processing technology will continue to advance and an upgrade path will most likely take place more frequently as demand of cloud services increases.


Mike Langlois: Software and virtualization will play a greater role in defining and enabling network services. SDN is at its beginning.  As  more of the ecosystem participates it will start to take shape and we’ll see a new generation of network architectures.  Through SDN, the industry will begin to take full advantage of the Carrier Cloud and the new applications that have yet to be defined.


Preparing for the SDN and the Carrier Cloud means greater collaboration with the ecosystem that provides the underlying high-performance intelligent network platforms.  The industry needs to take full advantage of software to deliver greater value, find new sources of revenue, and keep your service competitive.  And, leverage the expertise of the technical teams at companies like Wind River and Intel to fully utilize the capabilities their integrated hardware and software platforms.


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Kontron is a Premier member of the Intel® Intelligent Systems Alliance. Contact Kontron >

Wind River is an Associate member of the Alliance. Contact Wind River >


Simon Stanley

Roving Reporter (Intel® Contractor), Intel® Embedded Alliance

Principal Consultant, Earlswood Marketing

Follow me on Twitter: @simon_stanley